Hellloooo, welcome and strap in for this.
We are going to discover ways we can make recall for everyone!
We so often think of recall as "name, come here" rinse and repeat. We try and practice it in a few places and with a few distractions.
Its boring. I have never enjoyed it. I have never practised it consistently, because 1, I don't want to go out in the cold or hot for this boring exercise, and both Vader and I check out after a couple of reps because BORING. Also we usually practise it from a sit "Name, sit" we walk backwards, or run if it's well rehearsed, then "name come here!". Now how many times are you going to be needing a recall, and your dog is going to be sitting, looking at you? I will fairly confidently say none. It's going to be when your dog finds something interesting that isn't you when we really need the recall. Well whats the bloody solution, I hear you all yelling through the screen 😅 I have it, don't you worry! First let's have a think about what a recall is? What does a successful recall require?
Proximity. They have to want to be near us, if we yell at them for coming back (they don't understand we're frustrated with their lack of coming back), they won't like being near us. If we have a herder then they much prefer watching us vs coming in right up close (we can change this to their favourite thing, just ask Vader the persistent middler 😂). So we can work on their proximity
They have to have an ear or eye on us, without this they wont even know we're trying to call them back. We can work on them always trying to keep an eye on us (but not so much we create separation anxiety!)
They have to be able to walk away from the interesting thing they've found. They have to be more suctioned and interested in you than they are in the dog/ball/poo/whatever. Being able to walk away is a skill, and one we can teach!
This one isn't essential, but if I think of a recall, I don't really want a dawdle, I want a "you rang?" and Vader is suddenly right near me.
Now I hear you (I have quite the imagination 😝) "Thats all well and good but how do I work on that!?"
I'm going to suggest some games over the next few days that are going to improve your recall! So by the time you practise "Name, come here" your experience next level skill from your dog. And without the boring repetition!
Let's start with Proximity!
What games do you like to play with your dog? Are their any that promote being near you? We love Middle, and middle on the move. We also love games that involve running through our legs
Funder, Leg Weaves, Tornado and Typhoon, if you know AbsoluteDogs, you know where I got these names from! You can see Vader and I demoing some of them here!
Games that don't help with proximity and should be reduced while trying to grow proximity include:
Fetch (the fun part is away from you!)
Tossing food away from you.
These games are not bad games, they just promote being away from you.
I will get another post out soon about focus, disengagement and speed! Follow my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CoolCanines so you can see when I post another one! Join my groups and share your amazing pooches trying these games!